Calico Reaction (calico_reaction) wrote in bookish,
Calico Reaction

Ambrose, David: The Man Who Turned Into Himself

The Man Who Turned Into Himself (1993)
Written by: David Ambrose
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 197 (Trade Paperback)

The premise: ganked from In the middle of an important meeting, businessman Rick Hamilton has a terrible premonition: His wife is about to die. Racing to save her, he finds her lifeless body in the road, her car crushed by a truck. The light dwindles from his eyes . . . and then she is alive again, begging for help, and Rick Hamilton no longer is himself, but another man with another life, and a different history.

Based on the "many worlds" theory of quantum physics, which posits the existence of parallel universes, The Man Who Turned Into Himself is a suspenseful, mind-bending mystery that addresses our deepest questions about reality, death, identity, and the mind.

My Rating

Find a Cheaper Copy: if the premise interests you, see if you can't find this discounted somewhere on Amazon or Book Closeouts or wherever. Because the nature of the premise and the exploration of ideas is fascinating, and while the fictional constructs frustrate me (after all, I really didn't care for our narrator/s, and the prose was sometimes melodramatic), I enjoyed reading this. Again, if the premise doesn't grab you, don't bother with this book. It suffers from debut-itis in terms of characterization and prose, but that's swallowable as long as you find the brain-candy enjoyable. It's a fast read, and the ending will in some ways remind you of Donnie Darko and the overall feel of the story may remind some readers Replay, only Grimwood's book doesn't deal with parallel universes, and Grimwood's book is far better in terms of narrative and prose. So really, this is a simple rating: find it cheap if the premise grabs you, but ignore it otherwise.

Review style: I want to talk about what happens when the premise and ideas are thoroughly engaging and the prose isn't; what it means to enjoy a story with characters who aren't likable or wholly sympathetic, and how twists can make or break a story. Spoilers, absolutely. So if you're even REMOTELY interested in this book, don't read the review until you've read the book. :) Otherwise, you're welcome to the full review in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.


Happy Reading!

DON'T MISS OUT: Want a chance to win a free copy of the short story collection that deserves a Tiptree nod? Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories by Sandra McDonald definitely fits the bill! Interested? Click here. Deadline 6/16.


Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

June: Sunshine by Robin McKinley
July: Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff


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